Dedicated to my brother…

23rd March 2013 04.52

Sleeting. Robin calling. Pakka bouncy. Walking on the kerb edge. Windy. Geese calling in the dark. Pakka on top of neighbour’s wall…Playing light paddy paws with my fingers. Robins calling all over the estate. Pakka leaping onto my shoulder and down. Cold fingers, wet cat…good morning!

21st April 2013 07.36

I just saw a sparrowhawk try for a tit!

30th April 2013 06.07

Foggy and COLD. Birds all chattering. Shivering intermittently. Pakka Imageinvestigating smells. Tits overhead warning everyone. Sun rising…Pakka’s feet making crunchy noise on gravel. White snow drifts of blossom. Fingers cold. Wrens calling back and forth across the canal. The water almost still. Strange oriental man running flat footed past…shoes unsuitable. A heron statuesque on the other canal bank reflected in the water. Dead nettles purple in the grass. Heron lazily flying into the early morning sun. Pakka arriving beside me…seeming to materialise without walking. Golden early sun hitting the tops of the trees and the water’s edge. Pakka walking up to a cat flap, just to make the owner’s dog woof.  Came away when called. Tits low and swearing at Pakka.

1st May 2013 05.22

Really good thunderstorm last night. River bulging. Fuller than I have ever seen it. Small birds singing in the rain. Pakka doing her morning constitutional on the bank. Thick cloud cover. Geese high in the sky. River really noisy over the weir. Oddly ducks sitting by puddles in the grass. Possible the river running too fast. No, ONE duck – swimming hard…River only two and a half foot below the bridge…Pakka unsure….

I hope the vole I spent two hours last night trying to catch found a safe dry spot on the riverbank to spend the night. I caught him when he ran into a pile of washing. You can picture me on the riverbank shaking clothes out onto the path, discarding each till the last, when he dropped onto the path, and with a twirling of his tail he leapt over the riverbank…then not long after the skies split with a crash! Maybe that was why he wouldn’t be caught. He didn’t want to spend the night getting wet. Pakka refused to go on the common…sat curled on a kerb stone above an enormous puddle, so we went home…

13th May 2013 05.58

Muntjac on OUR side of the river! Sadly bolted across the river when P and I went to see what was going on. River obviously no problem at all, even though deep and up to his chest…

14th May 2013 05.06

Beautiful fox lopping towards the exit from the common. Briefly halted then carried on to second gate when realised I wasn’t going to move from defending Pakka, crouched tight against my feet…

20th May 2013 05.19

Two sleepy swans, a red capped woodpecker a few feet above and a jumping silver fish…

Then goslings and a dog’s head through that cat flap…

2nd June 2013 04.08

Last night I found a black and white woodpecker (now almost a regular) on the bird feeder and a small rabbit hiding under wardrobe. He is now safely relating his tale over breakfast after being released late last night down a rabbit hole…

8th June 2013 04.25

Blackbirds singing at the dead of night. Not really just early. Robins too. Doesn’t smell or feel like June. The wind is up too. Pakka bothered by three other cats so far, necessitating our having to ‘stop and stare’, but not like sheep or cows…with more venom. Just caught and ate a moth…there really can’t be much flavour in them…a bit like eating the bits left at the bottom of a prawn cracker bag, but with more dust and less substance and little flavour.

16th June 2013 05.01

A kestrel…just hovering overhead…wonderful start to a day off!

18th June 2013 07.47

I am so tired this morning…late last night I spent around two hours chasing the fastest vole I have ever seen around my bedroom. He even tried to see me off by squeaking at me just before I caught him by the shower. The next bed I buy will have legs…that raise the bed by at least four inches, so I can at least see under it and perhaps even catch the odd rodent! Played Pooh Sticks with Pakka this morning. I won…I think.

23rd June 2013 04.57

Pakka admired by local constabulary again this morning. ‘Can’t believe someone taking their cat for a walk.’ Amuses me every time…good looking copper too!

10th July 2013 05.29

A FISH! At least a foot long resting in the shallows…Never seen one just swimming through the shallows…. Cool morning. Cows waking and slowly moving off together. No fuss…just gradually. Lazy last pair taking up the rear. Mist over the common and the river seeming to steam. Pakka hunting a very wet and bogy riverbank. Herons. One a still reflection of the other. Have never seen one catch anything…

13th July 2013 05.29

A blackbird with the most untidy and tatty tail sitting on top of the old telegraph pole. Magpies scolding in the distance. People on the common! Terns calling, flying aeronautical displays overhead and food passing. Blackbird scolding Pakka very loudly. Very determined even though now on the other side of the bridge. Came across too. Pakka leaping exaggeratingly over patches of flattened grass lying on the broken tarmac path. Will have an extraordinarily good crop of blackberries later on. We have three pairs of terns all displaying! Magic!

05.41

Muntjack on the verge by the houses…Just leapt away from us! Moorhen scolding Pakka. Good thing she didn’t see the deer. Would probably chase it, only a young one. Sun a beautiful orange sphere in the sky…low over the houses. Flock of ducks dabbling in formation.

19th July 2013 04.49

Small Pipistrelle bats cavorting against a blue-black sky. Ducks cutting through the air…like heavy fighters…each trying to out fly the other… a rush of sound as the wind cuts through their feathers as the pair twist over my head. Others talking to themselves in the river. Blackbird on the lawn, its beautiful shape stark against the light of the path lights. New cats becoming a nuisance. Pakka having to fight to keep them out from the house and garden. Ducks mugging one another…small birds doing the dawn chorus. Seagulls in the distance. Blackbirds’ warning cry…almost cold,  certainly chilly.

30th July 2013 05.32

Bats gyrating over my head as we crossed the bridge. Very much the end of the dawn chorus. Perhaps too wet.  River slightly gorged. 8/8 cloud cover. Not much light. Long haired feline following on…Pakka unsure, but having fun hunting a low and fast thing on the path. Possible manic mouse? Sunrise. Pale pink. Crows calling below sounds of tits and hooting of collar doves. Clouds in W heavy with potential rain. Pakka back so we return to the Gade to drink. Coots startled. Change of mind. Pakka bouncing over grass to investigate that path again. I’m to wait. Can see a little more now. Year rolling on. Two weeks ago this was bright an hour ago. Ringing bell for Pakka as hungry. Seconds later she bolts from the undergrowth to lead me off the common.

1st August 2013 04.25

Distant lone seagull drifting away. Water flowing over a low branch of willow. Pakka off to chase a cat, otherwise estate silent. At 3.56 it really is SILENT. Dripping pipe. High aeroplane. Pakka off to chase another. Waiting. Slither of the moon. Pakka back and glaring back, having chased of the other cat. Can clearly hear the water flowing under the bridge 150 yards away. More seagulls. A lone magpie. Pakka waiting for traffic…early worker. Another cat glare…black cat on the other side using the shadows. Tiny stars.

04.34

Early morning bat flittering over my head in my garden…

2nd August 2013 05.38

Pink sky as though blotting paper dipped in pink ink. Pakka growling at teenagers walking and talking much too loudly on her common. Went to chase them off, not that they were aware…I called her back and she sat and waited with me…

20th August 2013 06.16

Up later than usual. Super sunrise. Three foxes, two young and one older playing on the opposite tow path. Pakka and I watched till they ran out of sight. Wrens ticking on both sides of the river.  Saw a hunting kes’ the other day…stooped without hurry then flew low and heavy away, quarry dangling. Pakka hunting in the same area today. Wrens ticking at her from tall weeds. Foxes calling in the distance. Dog on the common. Pakka hidden in long grass and missed. Just shrank down and didn’t chase. Low flying ducks. Man and dog returning past drifts of weeds. Time to leave. Pakka leading me off the common; that’s the only problem with daylight…dogs.

21st August 2013

Waiting for the cat…The moon is so round and bright I am unsure that it actually isn’t a hole that has been punched out of the sky and had a bit of think slightly scrunched tissue paper (which makes the grey bits, because the paper is thicker) put over it and glued into place…I have stars too, but no cat. She has gone off without me. Aeroplane pretending to be a shooting star….

Lone tawny callin in the dark from the woods. ‘Kerrrwick…kerrrwick.’ Distant sound of an insomniac duck. Owl now calling back from the common, flying and calling as he goes. Pakka squatting beside me and listening to the owl, now flying over the canal in the distance. Call almost echoing. Just heard the owl’s mate and turned to see young fox, no more than 20 foot away. Sadly both surprised and he ran off, toenails clipping the tarmac. Weir loud.

22nd November 2013 05.11

Half the sky covered with thin cloud, the moon a round smudge with a ring like a nebula around it. Stars bright in the rest of the sky. Orion’s belt just protruding from the cloud. Weir loud in the dark. Yesterday the estate was freezing. It was eerie as though still, the leaves were dropping as though they were rain drops…a steady pattering. Reminded me of Mole in the Wild Wood (Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame)…quite disconcerting.

12th December 2013 05.01

Frost…in thick fog. Frozen droplets of water on a car standing proud from the paint like scales on a lizard. Others look as though sandpapered. Canal still in the dark. Robins. Very icy today. Pretty Christmas lights covering a small fir…ruined though as they go through their repertoire.

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